One thing I hear from women over and over who are not getting results in the gym is that they have trouble stay consistent, committed, and are really just craving enough energy and motivation to get to the gym.
Look, we all know we should be exercising, it’s no secret, but just owning a workout plan doesn’t ensure that we will actually follow it.
You see, there is a huge gap between knowing what to do and actually doing it. Many of us know what do and if we don’t know we can easily search for it online. Yet there are several factors we never take into account.
What to do when you don’t feel like getting out of bed in the morning or how to motivate yourself after a 10 hour day at work.
How to implement or develop a routine.
Taking your own lifestyle into consideration.
Proper nutrition and health of your metabolism.
Finding a routine you enjoy.
These are all important factors that somehow get overlooked. The idea that we simply need to “just workout more” really doesn’t help us or take the above into account.
Today I am talking 4 strategies to help you stay more consistent and implement what you already know you are suppose to do.
Prioritize what will have the most impact on your results.
When it comes to working out, if you only have 30 minutes to workout 3 times a week choose weight training.
Weight training is best way to create muscle and lose fat over any other program. Long duration cardio and burning more calories will not only bump up your hunger levels but can also strip your precious lean muscle mass which we so desperately need to hold on to.
Sprints or high intensity training can bump up your metabolism but don’t create strength and body change the same way weight training does.
You can also create a “cardio” like effect by the way you pair your exercises together, resting less, or adding more weight.
When you commit to shorter weight training sessions you are already one step ahead of the game. You are controlling your hunger better (ever notice too much exercise makes you hungrier and have more cravings), you are managing your time better, and you are prioritizing what needs to be done first when you have the time.
Play mind games with yourself.
More often than not, starting the workout is the hardest part. It is like getting out of bed in the morning. Sometimes it just feels so brutal but once you are up, you are ready to go. Same thing with workouts.
The truth is you will not always feel motivated to workout, so stop relying on that. You will not always have the willpower to just be more disciplined, so stop relying on that. Sometimes you may just have to play mind games with yourself to get the work done.
For example when you don’t feel like starting commit to 5 minutes and once that passes commit to 5 more. Commit again until the workout is done. If after 20 minutes you truly feel the workout is hurting more than helping cut it there.
During your sets. Focus on the exercise or set at a time. I love the psychology of just focusing on the two exercises at the same time, with a superset which is alternating between two exercises. If I can just focus on the first pair for 2-3 rounds I can feel successful before moving on to the next pair.
Something about narrowing the focus on a couple exercises instead of an entire workout takes away the enormity and overwhelm of it all. Ask yourself how you can simply make that set the best set.
Commit to less to get more.
Commit to exercising 6 days a week for a hour and you will quickly learn that a schedule like that is hard to maintain. Family in town? Go on a vacation? Insanely busy week at work? Kid gets sick? You can’t control these factors so always commit to the minimal effective dose of exercise you need to get results.
What is the least amount you need to workout to see body change or maintenance.? You still have to put in the work, but not as often or in as much quantity as you think. Intensity will always trump duration so keep in mind that with shorter workouts, there always needs to be a greater demand on the body.
More breathlessness, perhaps more weight added and/or less rest. You don’t need 6 days a week when you have these factors pooled together in a few great workouts.
Check in with how your workouts affect you hunger and craving levels.
I don’t know about you but the more exercise I do the hungrier I get. Why? I am demanding a lot of my body and need the support of my nutrition. When increasing exercise it is the worst time to cut calories. The body will have a compensatory effect and be more likely to overeat or crave more food.
When starting a new exercise program don’t automatically resort to cutting calories and eating stricter. I have my clients focus on the P and the N. Portions and nutrients. That is it.
Where can I fit more nutritious food into my day?
How can I do it in a way where I keep portions in check and feel satisfied?
The answer is not to get stricter. The answer is to learn how to find a balance between not being deprived and being satisfied so yes I am giving you the permission you need to include wine, chocolate and bread in life in moderate amounts.
Pay attention to how high stress and low sleep might be affecting your appetite as well. All these things are contributing factors so it is easy to see why it is incredibly important to simplify your workout and the time you do it in. You have a lot on your plate to begin with!
Remember that being consistent is not about being perfect. It is about focusing on the decisions and choices that will have the most impact on your results. Trying to do everything all at once will overload your physical and mental state. And your results depend on how likely you are to keep working out week in, week out and how likely you are to manage nutrition.
If I asked you if you could start by just getting to the gym 1 more day a week than you currently are, doesn’t that feel a lot more doable than asking you to get there 6?
Whatever your next step is the more confident you feel about doing it, the more likely you will do it. Once you build more confidence the cycle repeats itself. Take action, build competence, build confidence. Repeat until it becomes a habit.
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